In a landmark development, the Supreme Court has announced its verdict on a series of petitions challenging the Centre’s 2019 decisions regarding Article 370. The petitions, including those filed by the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party, contested the validity of the government’s move to revoke the nearly seven-decade-old special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, leading to its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
The five-judge constitution bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, and Surya Kant, initiated the hearings on August 2. After a thorough examination over a 35-day period, the court reserved its order on September 5.
In a significant turn, Chief Justice of India announced that the Supreme Court need not delve into the validity of the presidential proclamation in Jammu and Kashmir, as the petitioners did not challenge it. The court emphasized that Jammu and Kashmir did not retain an element of sovereignty after joining India.
Highlighting a unanimous decision by the five-judge bench, the Chief Justice stated that the verdict addresses the petitions challenging the Centre’s 2019 decisions to revoke the special status of Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370.
Responding to reports suggesting the house arrest of Mehbooba Mufti ahead of the verdict, Jammu and Kashmir LG Manoj Sinha dismissed such claims as “totally baseless.” He affirmed that no such actions were taken against anyone in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Despite the uncertainty, leaders in Jammu and Kashmir express hope following the verdict, awaiting further developments as the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision unfold.